“How’s your hearing?”
That was a question my doctor started asking me about ten years ago. I would always respond that it was fine, and we would move on. About five years ago, both he and my wife convinced me to have a hearing test, and I found that indeed I had some decline in my hearing ability.
I really hadn’t noticed it much. I thought I was hearing fine but that others just weren’t speaking clearly. My wife kept telling me that the television was too loud, so I found myself watching it less and less so as not to be a bother. Slowly but surely, it began to dawn on me that maybe it was a little worse than I had realized.
But when the topic of hearing aids came up, I always shut the discussion down pretty quickly. That was too ridiculous to even consider. My hearing was not that bad, and they were too expensive. And besides that, I was not ready to concede to that insult of aging. Not yet.
So I continued to kick that can down the road.
Then late last year, I began to notice that I was really struggling to hear children well. Something about the particular pitch of their voice just seemed to be impossible for me to hear clearly. There are few voices more precious and important to a grandparent than those of their grandchildren.
So maybe it was time to consider hearing aids.
But before I tell you what my decision was on hearing aids, let me ask you a question.
How’s your hearing?
Not your physical hearing, but your spiritual hearing?
I mean, have you ever thought about the fact that throughout history, God has always spoken to people. Right from the start, we find him speaking with Adam and Eve.
Throughout the Old Testament of the Bible, we find God speaking through the prophets.
Then along comes Jesus and we find God the Father speaking to and through God the Son.
And then we find Jesus speaking to individuals and multitudes.
Clearly, speaking is an attribute of God.
So, if God is speaking, how’s your hearing?
I mean are you hearing God’s directions for your life clearly or are the messages hard to understand?
Do you think that God is not speaking plainly or maybe not speaking at all?
Maybe at one time, you felt that you could hear God, but that ability has seemed to diminish with time. Or maybe you have never felt that ability at all.
Just like I was missing out on the precious and important voices of my grandkids, maybe you are missing out on the precious and important voice of God.
Maybe it’s time to consider spiritual hearing aids.
SPIRITUAL HEARING AIDS
The proper first step in considering hearing aids is an examination to determine any physical problems in the relationship between the ears and the brain. There is no need to consider hearing aids until you know that relationship is functioning correctly.
In assessing our spiritual hearing, that is an important first step also. We must first know that the relationship between God and us is functional before we go any further. And that relationship only becomes functional through our acceptance of Jesus as our Savior through his work on the Cross.
If you have not taken that all-important first step, I assure you that Jesus is calling. But it is up to you to answer. I encourage you to reach out to someone who can guide you in hearing and answering that call. I promise you that there are people willing to help you with that. But you have to seek that help.
Please don’t keep kicking that can down the road!
So what about those spiritual “hearing aids” to being able to hear God?
In my own life, I have identified four:
1. The Bible
Simply stated, the Bible is God speaking in written form. It is an avenue that God uses to speak to each of us. It is unlikely that any of us will ever hear God clearly without seeking to hear him through the words of the Bible.
If hearing from God is precious and important to you, then time in the Bible must be precious and important to you. That’s just the way it works. If Bible study is new to you, maybe you can start out reading one chapter of the book of John every day.
As you read, highlight one thing out of that chapter that sticks out to you. Jot it down along with your thoughts about it. Before you know it, you may find God speaking to you through those thoughts and realize that this hearing aid stuff is actually working!
2. Godly people
I have found in my own life that God often speaks to me through other people. It may be through the words of a sermon or a song. It may be through the writings of a Christ-focused writer or speaker. It may be through the counsel of a godly friend or the coaching of a godly counselor.
Fortunately, we live in an age where access to Christian content is more available than ever. This Lifeword forum that you are reading right now is filled with writings and video content through which God can speak. Any hour of the day or night, you can find godly content at your fingertips. Take advantage of that hearing aid!
You may find the thought of prayer as a hearing aid to be odd because many of us don’t use it that way. We tend to use prayer to present our wants to God and ask his blessings, protections, and provision. Nothing wrong with that, but prayer is meant to be so much more:
Just as the Bible provides us the words of God in written form, prayer should provide us the words of God in spoken form tailored just for us. At least a portion of our prayer time should be dedicated to giving God the time and permission to speak into our hearts, minds, and spirits exactly what he wants us to hear.
Listening prayers are perhaps our most overlooked spiritual hearing aid.
4. The Holy Spirit
It’s funny how people sometimes tense up with the mention of the Holy Spirit. But Jesus was very direct and forceful in telling us about its existence and benefit to us. We don’t have time here to delve into that in depth, but simply put, it is the miraculous gift of the Spirit of God himself living within believers in Christ.
It is available to give each of us perfect leadership in our lives. It is the ultimate spiritual hearing aid. Through it, God can speak to us individually, just as he wants to, at any moment. Through it, we can find spiritual hearing ability beyond what we can even begin to imagine.
But we have to listen.
These four hearing aids can change our lives by giving us the opportunity and ability to hear God more clearly on a daily basis. And nothing can compare to that!
So back to my hearing aid decision. Did I, or didn’t I?
Yep. I did.
The preciousness of clearly hearing my grandkids’ voices was too important to be put off any longer. Just like the preciousness and importance of hearing God’s voice clearly.
Don’t keep kicking that can down the road!